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Posted on May 30, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Halo 3 Beta Impressions

By Jamison Lanum


High Ground

Although Bungie really didn’t show us any mechanics like in the other two maps included in the Beta, they basically gave us another Zanzibar that plays much faster due to its smaller size. One end is a beach that leads past a few rocks and caves before coming to the gate which is where all of the action takes place.

Also unlike the other two you really can’t afford to camp anywhere for more than five seconds, especially once on the inside of the gate. If you thought that the Halo 2 maps had a lot of entrance points wait until you see High Ground. It’s mind blowing how many rooms are arranged and linked in multiple ways.



Valhalla is what Halo 2‘s Coagulation was to Halo’s Blood Gulch. It places two, two storied bases at each end of the map with plenty of trees and boulders for cover along with the inclusion of four man cannons-two at each base! Before you get too excited don’t imagine a gigantic cannon that launches Spartans like the circus. In reality it’s little more than the grav lift located on Halo 2‘s Ascension, but placed at a forty five degree angle.

Despite my human cannonball dreams being shattered it still fits and works well in the game allowing any player to get into the action within just a few seconds! In fact because of the man cannon, most of the action happens to take place in the dead center of the map, so grabbing a sniper rifle and taking a side route places you in a skeet shooting competition. Taking a trip on the man cannon with your Spartan is excellent fun, but taking a trip on the man cannon with a mongoose is even better!


Another simple thing that has a big impact on gameplay is located on Snowbound in the form of shield doors. These doors are located at the base floor of each of the two Covenant bases and cannot be fired through or be breached by grenades, although they allow players to move freely between them. This is actually quite an interesting addition as you’ll constantly find yourself either luring someone to come inside, or you yourself being bated and greeted with a nice grenade in the face.

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